12.7.2022

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Good morning. It's Wednesday, Dec. 7, and we're covering the results of Georgia's Senate runoff election, sentencing in the Theranos trial, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Warnock Wins Georgia

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is projected to have won reelection for Georgia's US Senate seat in a tight race against Republican Herschel Walker, a former football player. Warnock defeated Walker, 51% to 49%, with 99% of the vote counted, as of this writing. Warnock's victory helps Democrats secure a 51-seat majority in the 100-seat Senate. See results by county here.

 

More than 3.5 million people cast ballots for yesterday's runoff, with about 1.8 million people voting early and breaking records in what has become the most expensive race of the 2022 midterm election season. At least $400M was spent in total by the candidates.

 

Separately, Rep. Andy Biggs (R, AZ-5) announced he is running against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-23) for Speaker of the House. McCarthy, who won support from Republicans in a closed-door meeting after the midterms, will need 218 votes by Jan. 3 to become speaker. Republicans are poised to have 222 seats, but Reps. Matt Gaetz (FL-1), Bob Good (VA-5), Ralph Norman (SC-5), and Matt Rosendale (MT-At large) have indicated they would vote for an alternative candidate.

 

(Another) Theranos Sentencing

Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, former president and chief operating officer of failed blood-testing startup Theranos, faces sentencing today after being found guilty of fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in July.

 

The sentencing comes less than three weeks after his ex-girlfriend and Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes was sentenced to over 11 years in prison. Theranos, once valued at $10B before collapsing, had failed to design the technology it promised investors that would generate over 100 accurate blood tests via a single finger prick. Balwani had invested about $15M of his wealth into the company.

 

Balwani’s lawyers seek a sentence of probation or home confinement. Prosecutors suggest 15 years and $804M in restitution, and the probation officer report recommends nine years. Balwani could face more time than Holmes if the judge determines his actions put patients at risk of death or severe injury; Balwani had direct oversight of Theranos’ lab and allegedly often rebuffed concerns by staff.

 

Catch up on the case here.

 

Spain Goes Down

In another World Cup upset, Morocco defeated Spain 3-0 in penalty kicks yesterday after neither team scored through extra time. The win boots Spain and makes Morocco the first Arab nation ever to enter the quarterfinals. With Portugal's 6-1 rout of Switzerland later in the day, the quarterfinal matchups are set. Watch a five-minute recap here

 

Coming into yesterday's match, Spain's offense had scored a tournament-high nine goals through three group stage games, while Morocco's defense had allowed only one goal. Although Spain possessed the ball almost 75% of the game and made four times as many passes as Morocco, it only had one shot on goal (see game stats). Morocco's Achraf Hakimi clinched the win with a soft penalty kick chip shot to the center of the goal, known as a panenka after the player who invented it. The irregular move anticipates the goalkeeper's dive to one side by sending it softly through the middle. Watch famous examples of the kick here.

 

The World Cup in Qatar has seen several major upsets, including group stage losses from Argentina and Brazil—now both quarterfinalists—to Saudi Arabia and Cameroon, respectively.

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Bill Cosby accused in New York lawsuit of sexual assault by five women under new law that temporarily suspends the statute of limitations for sexual assault claims (More)

> Steph Curry tapped as Sports Illustrated's 2022 Sportsperson of the Year (More) | Mills Lane, legendary boxing referee, judge, and television personality, dies at 85 (More)

> BuzzFeed lays off 12% of its staff, citing worsening economy (More) | "Wednesday" becomes Netflix’s third most viewed English language TV series ever (More)

From our partners: If cash back is king, this card wears the crown. Even The Ascent's credit card experts couldn't resist. They applied for it, and it's an absolute slam-dunk if you're looking for a one-card wallet. Big sign-up bonus, up to 5% cash back, no annual fee, and the list goes on.

 

Science & Technology

> Popular coding forum Stack Overflow temporarily bans replies generated by recently released AI-powered bot ChatGPT, citing high frequency of "confidently incorrect" responses (More) | What is ChatGPT? (More) | Test the chatbot here (More)

> Genetic analysis traces first domestication of cats to roughly 10,000 years ago in ancient Mesopotamia; study suggests switch to agriculture drove bonds with rodent-killing felines (More)

> Engineers demonstrate novel contactless method to move objects at a distance using targeted ultrasound waves; approach may have use in robotics and manufacturing applications (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower (S&P 500 -1.4%, Dow -1.0%, Nasdaq -2.0%) for fourth consecutive session (More)

> Apple CEO Tim Cook announces company will purchase microchips made in Arizona at Taiwan Semiconductor plant, currently in development (More) | NRG Energy to acquire smart home device maker Vivint for $2.8B (More)

> Sports e-commerce giant Fanatics raises $700M, valuing company at $31B (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

> Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández found guilty of embezzlement and fraud totaling $1B; sentenced to six years in prison, barred from public office for life (More) | Indonesia passes law prohibiting sex outside of marriage, with punishments carrying a term of up to one year in prison (More)

> The Trump Organization found guilty of tax fraud in jury trial, may face up to $1.6M in fines (More) | House Jan. 6 panel to make criminal referrals to Justice Department related to the storming of the US Capitol; individuals who may face charges not specified (More

> Suspect in Colorado Club Q mass shooting to face more than 300 charges, including murder and hate crimes; Nov. 19 attack killed five people and injured 17 others (More)

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Etcetera
 

This year's 100 greatest innovations.

 

... and the best albums of 2022.

 

The US states most vulnerable to identity theft and fraud.

 

... and the cheapest US cities for a parking spot.

 

An interactive comic about an artist's relationship to technology.

 

Last known Tasmanian tiger pelt found in museum cupboard.

 

How to deal with holiday stress, Danish-style.

 

"Goonies" house sells to fan who wants to protect it

 

Clickbait: A guest orchestra conductor gone wild. (w/video) 

 

Historybook: Oscar, Emmy, and Tony Award winner Ellen Burstyn born (1932); Pearl Harbor naval base bombed by Japan, killing 2,403 US personnel (1941); Basketball legend Larry Bird born (1956); Apollo 17, the final Apollo moon mission, is launched (1972); Sound barrier-breaking pilot Chuck Yeager dies (2020).

"If you can walk away from a landing, it's a good landing. If you use the airplane the next day, it's an outstanding landing."

- Chuck Yeager

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